View Full Version : Women Gamers Outnumber Men in 25-34 Age Group

April 18th, 2006, 10:26
A new study from the Consumer Electronics Association indicates that there are many more women gamers in the 25-34 demographic than males, largely because of the popularity of the casual games market, with card games like solitaire (pictured) and puzzle games like Tetris.

One of the common statistics often cited by video game industry trade groups is that the average age of a gamer nowadays is around 30 years old. What you might not know, however, is that among game players between the ages of 25 and 34, women far outnumber men, according to a new study by the Consumer Electronics Association (as reported in The New York Times).

The CEA study found that 65 percent of women in the 25-34 age bracket play video games, while only 35 percent of men in that group said that they play video games. Apparently, the key factor involved with these findings is the increasing popularity of casual games, especially among women.

Women were found to be slightly less likely than men in the 25-34 bracket to play traditional console games on systems like the PlayStation 2 or Xbox, while they gravitated more heavily towards simple types of games like Tetris or other puzzle games and card games like solitaire. These casual titles are typically found on web portals like Yahoo!, AOL Games, PopCap Games, EA's Pogo.com and elsewhere.

Steve Koenig, a senior analyst at the Consumer Electronics Association, said that the CEA study did not specifically ask women why they preferred casual games, but he explained that unlike traditional console video games, casual titles are generally "nonviolent, and are not necessarily supercompetitive against other players."

Although most casual games are played online on the PC, the console hardware makers realize that there's much opportunity in catering to the casual market. Xbox Live Arcade already offers a number of simpler titles that may appeal to the casual crowd and Arcade's library is expected to grow throughout the year. When Sony launches its PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Network Platform service, there's a good chance that they will offer casual titles for download as well.

And not only will Nintendo offer classic titles for download through the Revolution's virtual console, but they will also have original games and it wouldn't be surprising to see a number of casual offerings, especially from Nintendo. Of the three hardware makers Nintendo is the only company that has gone out of its way to create unique titles for "non-gamers" and gamers outside of the typical core market—e.g. Nintendogs and Brain Age. With games like these and the simple, intuitive Revolution control scheme, it's clear that Nintendo is looking to leverage the casual market.


April 18th, 2006, 11:21
Of course, the key to this article is in how they define "gamer". I'm sure that neither most of the women of which they speak, nor the "gaming" community at large would choose to classify such casual usage as "gaming". Still, I'm glad that the article picked up on a number of key points, such as the fact that the next gen Sony and MS machines aren't likely to be too attractive to this demographic, along with pointing out, in a round-a-bout sort of way, how crucial it's going to be for the "winning" system in this next generation to tap into these users. Super-cool, advanced graphics are making games more complicated and more expensive, and if the industry continues to place highest priority on that facet, they're going to put themselves out of business.

Isn't this right about the sort of opportunity that we'd expect Apple to jump on and exploit? (!_!) Ha ha ha ha! Just what we'd need, ANOTHER contender! In any case, given MS's image and history, I'd say things look bleak-ish for them in light of these statistics...

April 18th, 2006, 18:13